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The Latin Scot

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Posts posted by The Latin Scot

  1. More in line with your question though, A boy SHOULD complete the full set of requirements for the Boy Scout Cyber Chip as soon as he crosses over; not only is it wise to cover the materials in depth, but in today's intensely media-driven environment, a boy can never get enough training on internet protection. When it comes to safety, including internet safety, I have one motto - when in doubt, go all out.

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  2. The BSA has done a terrible job of making this known, but when a boy goes through the booklet with his parents/guardians a second or third time, it's called a "recharge," and there is a silver pin that he earns which is then affixed to his pocket patch. It's a nice little pin too! It's just too bad nobody is really aware of its existence. And it makes sense too; it's good to go over the material frequently, but simply re-earning the award seems redundant. So here for everybody's enlightenment is the pin that a boy should be earning whenever he "recharges" his Cyber Chip Award:



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  3. I "took" a BALOO "course" at our most recent University of Scouting event, and it consisted of an older gentleman explaining that he didn't really think it meant anything but going over a few power point slides and grumbling about the system for about 90 minutes before signing our cards and declaring we had all "passed the course." It was the most pitiful training I have ever received, in any field. I will be glad to take the online portion so that I can at least get a sense of what I was supposed to learn at the training I was supposed to receive.

  4. Our Troop has different neckerchiefs for each patrol; specifically because each patrol has their own colors drawn from their patrol flag, and so they wanted their neckers to coordinate with their flags in those very colors. So the "Mighty Knights" patrol uses black and silver in their flag and neckers, the "Savage Vikings" use brown and gold on both, et cetera et cetera. It has really helped cement the idea of patrol identity; I highly recommend this practice to those who haven't tried it!

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  5. I've tried to keep a steady supply of neckers and hats on hand for those situations where families can't readily afford new equipment for a boy moving up in rank. Whenever a boy ages up, I ask his parents if they are willing to donate any of their old things for future cub scouts coming up through the program. Not all do, but usually enough are willing for me to have a small supply ready for boys to draw from now and then. My bag currently has a couple of shirts, various neckers and slides, and some hats for the various ranks. It's not much but it's definitely helpful.


    My area is pretty evenly split between those who are affluent enough to buy whole uniforms on a whim, and those who have to save up just to get a new woggle. Neither is it too hard to find people willing to donate things when there is a legitimate concern; I had one boy whose family couldn't afford anything, but donors stepped in and got him an entire uniforms new. Ask, and you shall receive!

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  6. I admit, having grown up here in Southern California, I never wore shoes except to Church or special events. My pair of rainbows is practically a part of my skin; I run, hike, show, and travel in them. The only outdoor activity where I put on boots is where there are potential hazards from animals, plants, or terrain. Otherwise my toes go free.

  7. First of all, welcome @@John the Xcar, nice to have another LDS leader here!


    Technically, there is a policy in the Church that leaders called to Scouting positions should be kept in their Scouting callings for at least three years, and that they get trained as much as possible during that time. Unit funding is even allocated specifically to cover training costs as needed. 


    Ideally, people will commit to the callings they are given and do the best they can during their period of service; unfortunately not everybody is willing to do so whole-heartedly. However, in my area, I see the opposite problem from what JtX sees - here, there is such a backlash against boys focusing on advancement that almost nobody here gets their Eagle at all. My congregation (or Ward as we call them) has not had an Eagle Court of Honor in almost three years. There needs to be a balance; my region has responded so bitterly against the "trinket" that is the Eagle rank that now we don't produce any - and that is just as bad. 

  8. My replies are in bold. And no fears - I could never be so fragile as to choose to be offended by anything somebody on an on-line forum said to me.  :)


    No offense, bit if your premise was true --  that "a skilled and perceptive leader" get the boys "excited about anything" -- those efforts would be best applied to keeping Scouts who want to drop out of Scouting, rather than something as meaningless as a part of the uniform. Um ... Is it so hard to do both? It's not exactly an either/or situation; to suggest that those efforts aren't also being made is quite the broad assumption you're making. I am assuming that since we all experience kids dropping out of Scouts, Well, it hasn't happened to me yet but maybe someday none of us -- even the necker-wearing ones of us -- are that skilled or perceptive. 


    Do you feel the same about Scot socks? Yep.  Scout pants? Uh huh. Wearing patches properly? Heck yes. Adherence to the uniform guidelines? Every word of them.

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  9. Missing the point. If the necker aficionados...

    • Feel so strongly about one part of the uniform, then why not ALL parts of the uniform?


    • Think that only "a skilled and perceptive leader" leaders can "get their boys excited about anything", why focus that energy on an object (necker) rather than really engaging their Scouts on a myriad of other more important issues?

    I get you guys are necker-happy. Great. But let's not cast dispersions on those who aren't. The necker doesn't make the Scouter. Heck, the uniform and knots don't make the Scouter, so it really doesn't matter WHAT someone wears. The program and boys learning and growing is what matters.


    That's the point.


    First of all, I apologize that you have misread my post. I did not intend to cast any aspersions on those who are not fans of the neckerchief, nor even dispersions, which would indeed be redundant to cast in the first place. However, part of the problem is that you seem to have made the innocent but erroneous assumption that I only could only have the energy to focus on the neckerchief while ignoring the rest of the uniform. How little you know me.  ;)


    Of course, such a mistake is only natural, as you can't know what goes on here in our California Troop through a few posts I put on an online forum. But let's make a new assumption: I want you to think about all the time and passion and energy I put into defending the neckerchief, the zeal, the emotional effort put into getting 12 year-old boys to put a piece of cloth around their necks. Are you visualizing it?  Is that kind of passion clear in your mind?




    Now, let's finish the picture accurately. You seem to have created the image of a leader who invites boys to meetings where for an hour every week he pontificates about the glories of the neckerchief while ignoring the rest of Scouting. For the purposes of this discussion, it is a clever rhetorical move that helps you weaken the argument for neckers by shifting the argument to broader, nobler ideas, and the suggestion that if you focus on neckerchiefs, you ignore other greater things. But this is, of course, untrue, not to mention a logical fallacy. The reality, and the more logical conclusion, is that if I indeed put all this excitement and work into getting the boys to wear one part of the uniform, then it follows that I would put even MORE effort into the uniform as a whole! And I am a zesty young person; when I get excited I get EXCITED!


    Now, this thread is about neckerchiefs; thus I talk about neckerchiefs. You put up a thread on hats, I will talk hats! And belts, and woggles - even Scot Socks (not even I have a pair!). You ask "why not ALL parts of the uniform?" without considering that, as is in fact the case, every part of the uniform gets just as much attention. The hats get as much love as the neckers, which get as much love as the shirt and the pants and the belt, even those Scot socks. So let's not perpetuate the idea that anything else is being left out; this is a thread on neckerchiefs, so in this discussion, we are talking neckerchiefs.


    And even more to the point, you can safely conclude that for all the love and devotion I put into a detail like neckerchiefs, you will get a hundred times more when it comes to ideals like honor, duty, kindness, respect, or faith. You can probably understand that the zeal for this piece of fabric is only the tiniest reflection of the even greater, almost unspeakable love and devotion that is put into the fabric of the boys' souls. So it does your argument little good by trying to portray the neckerchief as a distraction from the real goals of Scouting; rather it is part of a method of Scouting, the uniform, which is a tool used to turn these boys into upstanding citizens and honest men. By developing an earnest interest in the smaller details, we equip ourselves with more and more tools with which we can teach these future leaders and husbands and fathers. 


    So let's put on our perspective glasses and remember - in a thread about neckerchiefs, you are going to get talk about neckerchiefs. That doesn't mean we aren't focused on the greater things. It just means we're staying on topic.  ;)

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  10. Well, looks like it tough talk time.


    For all you leaders who say "the boys don't like them" or "nobody wants to wear them" or whatever your line is - don't blame the boys if you, as a leader, don't know how to get them excited about something like a neckerchief. The fact is, a skilled and perceptive leader will know how to get boys excited about anything, especially since at this age, boys are inclined towards having a number of subjects that they find especially fascinating or that they are particularly good at. If you are a really understanding leader, you will know how to make something like the uniform, yes, even the neckerchief, relevant - even EXCITING - for the boys in your Troop. 


    For more than a generation my Troop has been infamously apathetic towards the uniform; just wearing the shirt, even unbuttoned, was looked on as "trying." All I needed was a few months of showing cool old photos, fun tricks with neckerchiefs, and a grossly exaggerated excitement over new Scout socks or a homemade woggle - soon and sure enough the boys started building up the desire to look right and to show pride in their uniforms because, gosh darn it, Mr. The Latin Scot (not what they actually call me) seems to think they are so cool, so I guess they really are so cool! And now he tells us each patrol can have their own specially colored neckerchief to match their patrol flag colors?! "That's AWESOME Scouts is so cool!" - actual quote from Scout when told by Mr. The Latin Scot that such a thing was in fact true.


    So, really, you can get them excited. And I think the neckerchief is the most useful, the most iconic, the most practical AND the most appealing part of the Scout uniform. And millions of Scouts around the world have felt the same way.  ;)

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  11. Wow. This writer is so monumentally biased that he defeats his own purposed  arguments with his even greater ignorance. But I will only treat this one nugget of ignorance since it seems to encapsulate his entire argument:




    "Strict adherence to the Mormon moral code — or as some say, the three G’s: no gays, no girls and no godless — has caused the Boy Scouts to compromise on one of its most important values: that it is wrong to discriminate."


    So, let's start of with what he calls "the Mormon moral code." I don't know where he got this list, but it certainly wasn't from the "Mormon" Church (which I will refer to the more proper nickname of the LDS Church). All we get is "as some say ..." which leads me to think he feels he's hit on some clever way to demean LDS doctrine with his catchy "three G's" and wants others to use it so that they can be part of the "some" that "say." A common writer's tactic, but I don't think this one will catch on, sir.


    #1 - No gays. While we do not believe that God permits homosexual relationships between his children, we do not believe that this entitles anybody from treating people with such leanings with any less love or respect than any others of His children. We define people by who they are, not by how they feel, and to say our "code" means no gays reflects a total ignorance of what we believe and where we stand. 


    #2 - No girls. This one is almost laughable. I can't think of any religion that encourage marriage and babies and families more than our church. Almost the minute young LDS boys get back from their missions, we are pushed to find a girl and settle down. So I assume he means no girls in Scouts, which is correct. We believe that men and women are fundamentally different and that gender is part of our eternal nature, so yes, we have separate programs for boys and girls because we believe they are meant to fill different roles that depend on each other. So let's fix it to say No girls in Scouts. 


    # 3 - No godless. Well, I think if you were to ask me, I would say there is no such thing as a godless person, but only people who don't know him yet. But we believe that Scouting should stand by its foundation of Duty to God and not allow any young man in its organization to ignore or reject God in his personal life.


    Which leads to his last, and greatest error - the idea that one of our "most important values" is that "it is wrong to discriminate." Oh, how this idea has warped the morals of so many people these days. It has become the banner under which every fringe, rebellious, or subversive community now marches in order to demand the right to live by what they want and not by what is right. But we must note, as Scouts and Scouters, that the first, the very first line of the Scout Oath, the core of who we are, states "On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God ..." Now, the world wants Scouting to be secularized because they know that millions of boys, the core of the best developing minds in the nation, are being influenced by what they learn in Scouts. And they know that if they can force the Boy Scouts of America to adopt their ideals putting self first, it will affect the boys who will someday grow up to lead and shape the Country. But Scouting was founded on a higher principle, and it is this - that religion is an essential part of a man's character. When asked where religion came into Scouting, Baden-Powell replied that "it does not come in at all. It is already there. It is a fundamental factor underlying Scouting." 


    So I am not fooled by this writer's appeal to the world's visceral zeal against discrimination, because ironically, it depends on another kind of discrimination - that which condemns people for putting God and his laws first. We promise on our sacred honor to do our best to do our duty to God. That comes first, and the LDS Church does not compromise on that, nor indeed do millions of other faithful Christians and Jews and Muslims from every denomination. Baden-Powell once said No man is much good unless he believes in God and obeys His laws. So every Scout should have a religion ... Religion seems a very simple thing: First, Love and Serve God. Second: Love and serve your neighbour (sic)." 


    Whether the world likes it or not, Scouting is at its core a religious organization. And it has every right to be. But the fear for those who oppose that idea is that the Boy Scouts of America will continue to demand of all its members a recognition of God's being and His right to rule, which will thus continue raising skilled and trained leaders who will put God first and not their own agendas. It is this simple over-arching idea, that God should be first in our minds and hearts, which led to the LDS Church's historic partnership with the BSA starting back in 1913. At the time morals were different; people across the nation shared similar religious values to the extent that before the Great War, America actually had a reputation in the international community for being a rather dour, puritan nation where everybody went to church and never had any fun. Not only that, but if you can believe it, the LDS Church was for almost 100 years considered to be wildly liberal and extreme by rigid standards of mainline protestant America. Oh how things change! Now the nations's morals have swung the pendulum so far the other way that it could snap at any time, while the Church's doctrines have and will stay the same (which is only natural for any religion that believes God himself is unchanging and eternal). So now the conflict has arisen - the world wants people to change their standards to suit what people want for themselves, while the LDS Church and many other religions besides want people to keep God's standards. And the BSA must decide not just where it stands, but indeed who it will become. The world wants it to become a secular entity that will use its influence to encourage its subtle idea that "it's wrong to discriminate" which then gives people licence to live their lives with no accountability or morality. But many religions, not just the LDS Church, want the BSA to stay true to its foundation of putting God and his laws, first, even if we feel that means excluding certain people from membership. I know that for the LDS Church, this is a no-compromise situation - we believe that God's laws ALWAYS come first, even if it means breaking old and beloved ties. (I will add here a reminder for those who are not clear on the issue, that the recent decision of the Church to end its involvement in the Varsity and Venturing programs was based on internal issues with implementing the programs, and NOT as is commonly rumored on any of the latest policy changes made by the BSA).


    So this idea of the author's, that the "Mormon code" has forced it to "compromise on one of its more important values," fundamentally and manipulatively ignores Scouting's GREATEST value - that of every boy's duty to God. That duty includes keeping God's laws, no matter how unpopular they may be in a world that so desperately wants to live by what is pleasing and not by what is right. The question is - will the Boy Scouts of America truly "be brave" and continue to uphold their principles by basing its policies on basic religious principles, or will it cave to the loud and angry cries of worldly and adopt a secular approach which would eventually negate almost all the ideals of honor and morality inherent to the Scouting program?


    It would be so easy for these opposing groups to simply go off and create their own organizations, but that's not what they want. They want a huge and venerable organization like the BSA to change and do their work for them. They want its prestige and its influence and its unending crop of future leaders to show the world that morals really can change and that what was right is now wrong, and what was wrong is now right. It started with homosexual policies. Now it has moved to even more fundamental gender identity issues. It will culminate in an attempt to wrest the very core of religion from the heart of Scouting; it's already beginning with questions being raised about policies toward Scouts who declare atheism, but it grow far beyond that. Yet there are other groups, with the LDS Church as the most obvious as it produces the vast majority of Boy Scouts, who want the BSA to stay true to its core values and to cling to the morals and principles which it has helped promote for generations now. 


    Back to the core point of the article and this thread, right now the BSA has relaxed its policies regarding practicing homosexuals. As the LDS Church plays a large role in the world community towards reaching out to that community, we have so far been able to work around these changes. But we believe strongly in the divine and eternal nature of gender, and the BSA has so far fit beliefs by keeping its program strictly male in membership (even when we did have Venturing units, they were never allowed to be co-ed). Naturally we expect it to promote religion and a belief in God as well. Should even these change, frankly, the BSA would become a fundamentally different program that the one founded in 1910, and if the resulting organization is not the one the LDS Church joined with back in 1913, there's no reason to stay involved with it. We can create our own programs if we have to, and we don't have to cannibalize some other poor organization to do it either.


    So - is it time? In my view, and I think in the views of many, I pray such a time never comes. I feel that such an organization would be the BSA in name only, but it would not be the same program  at its core. They would wear the uniforms and use the lingo and have all the stuff, but it would not teach the same core values, and it would not raise the same kind of men that it used to. To open the doors to girls and atheism and the loosened views of gender identity and the host of other ideologies, in my mind, would essentially end what the the Boy Scouts of America was created to be. Others will certainly disagree, and that's their right. But I would hate to see the BSA turned into a secular pawn of popular ideals. I know that I wouldn't have a reason to stay involved if I didn't feel it was effectively preserving those traditional values. I suspect many others may think so as well, but the vocal minority who oppose the old ways can be a daunting crowd to stand against. But for my part, I think it's worth the flak. I hope the BSA continues to feel thusly as well.

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  12. @@Peregrinator Not to be contradictory, but having just finished reading the complete published works of B.P. himself (a gift from a dear old Scouter who has since passed on), it would seem that the creation of "new Scout patrols" was a common practice for many generations, and is entirely in line with what Lord Baden-Powell imagined for the success of Scouting units. Patrols are not age-based after that first year, which is used to wean boys out of the adult-driven Cub Scout model and into the boy-driven Boy Scout model. Note that after the first year our patrols are not age-based either. In any case, for most of Scouting's history it was in fact de rigueur for new Scouts to be put into a "new Scout patrol" under the leadership of a Troop Guide - that's why the position of Troop Guide even exists. So in the ideal situation, we do indeed follow the classic model of patrol organization - the first year in a new-Scout patrol, and following that, patrols organized by the boys themselves where numbers permit.


    @@Back Pack, I am sorry to hear of the negative attitudes coming from your LDS leaders. They are not representative of LDS ideals at all, and I am sorry to learn about how those leaders have chosen to represent our Scouting philosophy through their words and actions. They seem to be rather embittered, an understandable if not appropriate position to take given the circumstances.

  13. By the way, the general recommendation from Church leaders has been to register older boys in the Boy Scout troops so that they can continue in the advancement program if they wish. It's only the Varsity and Venturing programs and won't be getting new registrations; most will simply be siphoned back into the Troops instead of automatically being moved up as they were before. So the BSA will not really be losing that much revenue; it's more of a "moving around" than it is a "moving out."   :cool:

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  14. Not quite so. 11 year-old scouts may participate in 3 overnight camping trips. They are strongly urged to complete all the other requirements for 1st Class by their 12th birthday so that they can be as close as possible to completing all the work when the time comes. It's the Cub Scouts that don't do any overnight camping, though as a Webelos den leader I can tell you, we are still outdoors PLENTY. ;-) 


    Also, the 11 year-old patrols are no more adult-driven than they are in non-LDS patrols, in that it entirely depends on the leaders, not how the Church implements the program.  And on that note, we follow the exact same program as non-LDS troops, and have many of the same problems and strengths. But to generalize a program that encompasses thousands of boys in every part of the country by saying "their 11 year old program is a set, repetitive program that is designed to get Scouts to First Class in a year, and is very adult leader oriented to the point that it seems like it is still Cub Scouts or "Webelos 3" ..." seems pretty unwise to me. For the most part, LDS units are run just like other units. We have a few minor program specifics, but otherwise things are exactly the same. We don't run our own "version" of Scouting. We run Scouting. The degree of fidelity to the program might vary at the unit level, but that is not Church-wide, nor is it wise nor accurate to assume such. Leaders are trained to run the proper, Boy-led Scouting program - the very reason the Church adopted Scouting in the first place was the emphasis Scouting places on letting the boys lead, even at the 11 year-old level. Let's not spread the false idea that in LDS units, things are different. If they are doing things according to Church policy, which is to follow BSA policy mind you, then they are running the program just as B.P. first envisioned it.

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  15. A few more points to help you all understand WHY Varsity and Venturing have struggled in many LDS units:


    - LDS units are organized geographically, and are run by a lay clergy, meaning all leadership positions within any congregation, including all Scouting leaders, must come from within the ranks of the congregation itself. Considering how many other responsibilities need to be filled by the local members to run the church programs effectively, it can be hard to find qualified leaders to fill all the needed roles, and the Scouting program is not necessarily at the top of our list of priorities.


    - Each LDS Scouting unit is composed primarily of boys from within that congregation itself. So if there are only 3 or 4 boys in the congregation who are venturing age, that becomes the whole of the venturing crew. The small numbers of our units thus make is hard to run full-scale programs at the level of Varsity and Venturing, and when compounded with the difficulty of finding enough leaders to run the programs, it becomes a heavy strain to run these two programs as they should be run.


    - We are NOT reacting to any issues with co-ed Scouting, gender-identity issues, or other current political controversies - if we were, why would we keep the Boy Scout program and the Cub Scout programs? It is only with older boys that we have encountered problems, and so we are creating our own programs both to meet their needs and alleviate the difficulties we have faced in implementing the Varsity and Venturing programs as they should be run.


    If anybody has other questions, I will try to keep an eye on this thread over the next few days to see if I can help clarify things. I hope what I have already posted will help enlighten some of us on the motives behind this change!

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  16. My my my ... I take a couple of weeks off, and suddenly I return to find all KINDS of crazy ideas being touted or suggested about both my religion and our relationship to Scouting! But never fear; the answers are here! I am sorry I have been away and unable to represent the LDS perspective amongst you all; for that I apologize. But now that I am here, let me offer a few useful resources to help you all understand what exactly is behind these changes! The following comes from the official LDS Press release; the link to the full article is here: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/questions-answers-changes-young-men-program



    What exactly is changing?

    • Beginning January 1, 2018, young men from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will no longer participate in the Varsity and Venturing programs offered by the Boy Scouts of America.
    • Instead, Young Men activities will focus on spiritual, social, physical and intellectual goals outlined by the Church. These activities are designed to be fun and meaningful and provide opportunities for personal growth and development.

    Why is this change occurring?

    • In most congregations in the United States and Canada, young men ages 14–18 are not being served well by the Varsity or Venturing programs, which have historically been difficult to implement within the Church. This change will allow youth and leaders to implement a simplified program that meets local needs while providing activities that balance spiritual, social, physical and intellectual development goals for young men.

    Does this mean the Church is completely separating from the BSA?

    • The Church continues to look for ways to meet the spiritual, physical, emotional and intellectual needs of young men around the world. The current decision is consistent with those efforts. The Church will continue to use the Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs for boys and young men ages 8 through 13.

    Previous statements have indicated that the Church wants a program that serves all young men around the world. Is this it?

    • No, this is not the global program, but an important step that addresses an immediate need. Varsity and Venturing programs have been difficult to run effectively on a local level. The Church continues to work toward developing a program for young men and young women globally.  

    Why is the Church remaining with the Cub Scout and Boy Scout program?

    • These programs currently meet the development program needs of boys from ages 8 through 13.

    Why is this change only for the United States and Canada?

    • Varsity and Venturing programs are used only in Church congregations in the United States and Canada.

    What has been the reaction of the BSA leadership to this decision?

    • In every discussion with the Boy Scouts of America, they have expressed a shared desire to do what is best for young men. We are grateful for their continued support with this new change and look forward to continuing our strong relationship in the Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs.

    How does this impact the financial and property connections of the Church to the BSA?

    • Though important, financial and property obligations are not the primary concern. Instead, we are driven by our desire to serve the spiritual, emotional, physical and intellectual needs of young men.
    • Most of these legal associations are in connection with the Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs.
    • The Church will continue to make the same payment to the BSA for registration of its young men through 2018, so there should be a minimal financial impact to Scouting.

    What is the schedule for this announcement and rollout?

    • The announcement was shared on May 11, 2017. However, the discontinuation of the Varsity and Venturing programs will not occur until January 1, 2018. We encourage local units to continue with their planned activities as they review and determine how they will implement the new activity guidelines.

    Can young men in these age groups continue to earn the Eagle Scout award?

    • Yes. Young men who desire to continue toward the rank of Eagle will be registered, supported and encouraged. It is important to remember that only those young men who are properly registered are eligible to be awarded merit badges and rank advancements.

    What would you say to Church members about participation in the Friends of Scouting fundraising drive?

    • The Church will continue to be involved in Friends of Scouting as part of its relationship with the BSA and the Scouting programs for boys and young men ages 8 through 13.

    Is this due to changes in Scout policy in the past few years to allow gay and transgender Scouts and leaders?

    • The BSA has always allowed the Church to operate its programs in ways that are consistent with our standards and beliefs, and they have been very supportive. This change is to address the needs of young men ages 14 to 18. The Church is always evaluating what is best for our youth and families, and will continue to do so.
    • The activities referenced on lds.org/youth/activities and ymactivities.lds.org have been in place since 2013 as a resource for youth and their leaders around the world. When followed, these activities can provide better opportunities for spiritual, physical, emotional and intellectual growth.

    Is the guideline that Young Men aren’t required to meet weekly a new directive?

    • No. This guideline (for both Young Men and Young Women) has existed in the Church’s handbook for many years.

    Will the disparity of funding and activities that exists between the Church’s Young Men and Young Women programs be addressed as part of this change?

    • Church leaders have long been aware of this concern. This new program brings the spending into balance for youth ages 14 through 18. This will continue to be a factor in the ongoing exploration and creation of a worldwide youth program.
    • In each congregation, the ward council is encouraged to consider equally the needs of Young Women and Young Men and their families when planning activities and determining budgets. 

    Is this a reaction to the news that the Boy Scouts of America is considering the inclusion of girls and young women in its programs?

    • Church leaders learned just recently about the BSA’s intent to consider including girls and young women in Scouting. Our decision to end our participation in the Varsity and Venturing programs was made independent of this possibility and before that time. We anticipate our Cub Scout and Boy Scout units will continue as they are at present. For additional information go to: Aaronic Priesthood 14-18 Activities.


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  17. I had a lot of people ask me this the last time a ran a council Cub Leader training session, so I worked out this list based off of materials from the official BSA site, various training resources, and a survey of Cubmasters and Committee Chairs I knew who were running successful programs - mind you, it's just an overview and not meant to be comprehensive. Also, every committee is going to be different. We have had great success with this "division" of labor in our unit, and naturally there is some interchange between the two roles, but in general you might find the two separated thusly:


    The Cubmaster

    The Cubmaster is "The Face" of the Cub Scouting program in his Pack. He runs Pack Meetings and oversees the progress and training of the Cub Scouts and their leaders. Some of his responsibilities include:

    -        Ensuring that all den leaders are trained and that they are fully implementing the Cub Scout program in their meetings

    -        Overseeing the progress of the boys in the pack and helping towards their advancement when needed

    -        Leading engaging and exciting Pack Meetings that are impressive opportunities for the boys to be recognized for their efforts and progress

    -        Meeting with the Scoutmasters, 11-year-old leaders, and Unit Commissioners to establish plans for the Webelos Scouts’ transition to the Boy Scout meetings

    -        Attend district round table meetings to obtain important information on programs and training to relay back to the pack and den leadership

    -        Encourage high standards of uniforming, conduct, and advancement progress at the den and pack levels

    More information on the Cubmasters duties can be found at:



    The Cub Committee Chair

    The Cub Committee Chair is "The Brains" of the Cub Scout Pack. He leads the committee meetings and is responsible for the planning and organization of pack activities. His duties should include:

    -        Conducting well-planned committee meetings and ensuring that they are centered on the advancement and spiritual progress of the boys and families in the pack

    -        Ensuring building reservations for monthly meetings and providing for all pack materials to be ready for every pack meeting

    -        Working with the Chartered Organization representatives to help meet the needs of the individual boys and their families through the Cub Scout committee

    -        Planning the year, creating monthly agendas, and delegating the responsibilities of each Pack Meeting with the Cubmaster

    -        Communicating with families and committee members about important pack events and needs

    -        Ensuring that every den and boy has the materials they need to run a successful Cub Scout program

    -        Encourage high standards of uniforming, conduct, and leadership at the pack and committee level

    More information on the Chair’s duties can be found at:



  18. I read through the requirements before we start any new adventure, and I make sure the boys know what it means to demonstrate, show, tell, explain, etc., and that they understand very clearly what we will be doing - boys this age like to know what's expected of them! I also repeat the requirement, as written, before each individual activity, so that they know exactly what needs to be accomplished for the activity to count towards completing the adventure.


    As an added touch, sometimes I may also remind them that if they DON'T do what is asked, I don't have to sign their books! And they don't HAVE to get the adventure pin, and they don't HAVE to get their Webelos rank, and they don't HAVE to get their Arrows of Light ... 


    Then I smile benignly at them while it all sinks in. I don't seem to have any troubles getting boys to participate!

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  19. I feel like I would need to post something every week if I wanted to keep up with how many wonderful things go on in our den! But last week I did experience a truly wonderful display of Scout spirit and kindness.


    I have a boy who recently moved up to my Webelos den from Bears, and in my den we are very pro-uniform - we have inspections every week, I teach them about the history and significance of the uniform, and the boys love showing me the effort they put into looking good. Well, this boy comes from particularly indigent circumstances, and so the committee had been arranging for some kind of fund-raiser to help him get all the uniform parts he needs (which is most of it). I figured It would take a few months to save up enough, but that it would be worth it for him once he could look as sharp as all the other boys. His family is very poor, so I wanted to take the burden off of them while still giving him an opportunity to meet our dens standards.


    Well, I also have an assistant den leader who is consistent, involved, and great with the boys - but he does NOT go beyond that. He never wears a uniform, he doesn't attend any meetings besides the weekly den meetings (which he attends faithfully, bless his heart), and he doesn't go to the pack meetings either. When he was young, his father was a zealous Scouter, but so over-anxious for him to achieve and advance that he refused to get past Life Scout as a boy, and he has carried a touch of resentment towards the Boy Scout program ever since. He is a great assistant for the 90 minutes I have him each week, but it doesn't usually go much further that that.


    Anyway, while I was about to hold uniform inspections last week, he pulled me aside and discreetly asked if it was a good idea to hold them since the boy mentioned did not have much of a uniform. The boy had been a little sad that his "uniform" consisted of an old hat and neckerchief, even though I stressed the fact that a Scout is judged from his heart, not his outfit. I told my assistant that my hope was to maybe instill in him the willingness to work his own uniform, since it would probably be the only way, and he would need to be motivated to keep at it for a while. I admitted it was neither a perfect nor a complete plan, but I had been so concerned about giving this boy every advantage and opportunity possible that I didn't know what else to do. Knowing how poor his family is, and how rough his circumstances are, I had been losing a lot of sleep over this boy, but I KNEW that getting him into a new uniform would mean the WORLD to him. The boy deserved to wear the uniform, but how, I still didn't quite know. Well, he asked me if he could pitch in a little something. Naturally I said yes, and after the meeting he ran out to his car.


    He came back and handed me some cash, telling me this: "Get him whatever he needs, and give the rest to his family. I have been with you for more than a year, and I know how much you love these boys. You actually understand what Scouting is about, so I know this will be well-spent. And don't tell anybody who donated it."




    When he left, I counted out far over $100 in cash.



    It was enough to get the boy a completely new uniform big enough for him grow into after he becomes a Boy Scout, and there was enough left over to help out his family as well. But more than that, it bought me a new perspective on what it means to be a Scout. The excitement in the boy's face when he got his new uniform; the tears in his mother's eyes when we brought everything to their home; the empathy in my assistant's heart when he saw a need and lent a hand - if I may steal the phrase to use in more meaningful circumstances, "THIS is Scouting."

    • Upvote 1

  20. Well, the signs were put up only yesterday morning. I was at the shop Saturday, and they weren't there. Then when I went over yesterday they were moving everything around, and I noticed the signs while lost in the mess. I asked about them, and the manager said they had just put them up. So the status change on these must be recent, although certainly surprising.